All the MCs of Army of Pharoahs are shining on their own, from Jedi Mind Tricks‘ – Violent by Design to 7L & Esoteric’s The Soul Purpose, and now to Virtuoso’s World War One: The Voice of Reason. You’ll find an acceptable amount of dope guest appearances, like 7L & Esoteric, Jedi Mind Tricks, Reks, Mr. Lif, and K.T. Among the producers conjuring up hot, diverse instrumentals are Beyonder, who also provides a number of the cuts on the album, Insight, and Panik of the Molemen. This is an LP to sit back and enjoy, but unlike 7L & Esoteric’s latest album, you can dissect the lyricism and actually end up being impressed.
You’ll find a range of genres for the songs on the album, from hardcore, almost violent, battle rhymes, to basic, funky hip-hop joints, and reminiscent/deep tracks. Some of the songs have crazy rugged beats like “Beatdown” featuring T-Ruckus and Jedi Mind Tricks and “Incinerator”, which carries a rough beat (half original beat and half of the remixed beat — all in one) with blazing samples. Energy is high on “Beatdown”, which has multisyllabic internal rhyming to the max, and a chorus that you may even be compelled to scream out in your cubicle at work. “Incinerator” exhibits crazy rhyme schemes and dope cuts by none other than 7L.
Moving to lighter content, “Slicin’ Your Wrists” and “Keep The Time” will definitely catch your attention. Virtuoso takes a creative approach to discuss today’s fights, especially as a younger cat. He slips in a line in the beginning of the chorus that explains the importance of walking away. He continues saying, “Back when I was young, we used to fight with our fists/ and now these kids will crack ya lung with a pipe or a brick/ and all the son’s packin’ guns will take your life with a clip/ so now gettin’ in a fight is like slicin’ your wrists” The funk continues with “Keep The Time”, which sports nice lyrics, a well-constructed chorus, and dope production by Molemen’s Panik.
Virtuoso opens the emotional flood gates on “Guranteed”, a little storytelling joint about two kids who ended up in the wrong path, “one done by a gun, the other one hung with life in jail.” Overall, an amazing song with perfect production. The MCing on this is incredible. “Omnipotence” exposes the bad influences in the world. He contiues the storytelling illness over a sorrowful beat, and paints a picture of the not-so-great parts of the world, which some call life. Cats who remember the original beat this song had before it was on the album, will notice that there’s a different beat for the album version. All of this is nothing in comparison to “Remember”, a joint dedicated to Virtuoso’s family; parents, unborn children, and friends. Perfect production combined with strong lyrics and ethereal vocals on the hook result in a track that’s too hard not to feel. You might enjoy the dope snippet of Virt battling Wyclef Jean at the end, too.
You can listen to the LP once, twice, or three times, and still not catch every bit of dope, diverse lyricism and MCing that’s being displayed here. It’s hard to find a bad chorus, as well. Virtuoso knows how to utilize his lyrical talents and production to create good overall hip-hop songs to please underground skeptics and backpackers alike.
Reviewed By RhymeLife.Com for HipHopHotSpot.Com